Joining a Running Club
Whether you’re an experienced runner looking to take your performance to the next level or a complete novice searching for camaraderie and a little extra motivation, joining a running club could provide the impetus you need. In this guide, we’ll explain how to join a running club, discuss a few of the benefits of running club membership and help you find local free running clubs in your area.
How to join a running club
The thought of a running club may conjure up images of whippet-thin runners covering mile after mile at breakneck speed, but is that really the reality? Running clubs for terrifyingly fast amateur runners certainly exist, but there are also a great many beginners’ running clubs and clubs for those who run regularly but like to do so socially. If you’re thinking of joining a running club, the key is to find ones populated by like-minded people, those who share your running goals.
Once you’ve decided how serious or social you want the atmosphere to be, there are hundreds of running clubs you can join across the UK. Some may require a membership fee, but there are also lots of local free running clubs you can become a part of.
To find a running club near you, we suggest you speak to friends and family who are members of running clubs, or reach out to your network on social media. If that’s unsuccessful, websites like RunTogether , the Good Run Guide and Time Out Doors are all excellent resources you can use.
Why join a running club?
There are a number of benefits associated with running club membership for runners of every level:
- Find friendship and camaraderie
- Increase your competitive edge
- Get a little extra motivation
- Switch up your training
- Call yourself a runner?
- Turn up when you can
For some people, running is the perfect solitary activity, allowing them to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and get away from it all. Others are much more motivated to run if it’s part of a group activity. A beginners’ running club is a great way for runners to meet new people they can share their love of running with. They can also meet new running partners to pound the pavement with, outside of club sessions.
You don’t have to be a competitive runner to benefit from the extra drive that comes from running with people of a similar ability. As you get to know the individuals in your running club, you’ll get a feel for their fitness levels and speed. You can then think about who to run with to push you a little bit harder and who you can try to beat. Even social runners are surprised by how much that competitive element can improve one’s running performance.
Your motivation, or a lack thereof, is one issue joining a beginners’ running club could really help you with. On a cold, wet January night, you’d probably rather put on your pyjamas than your running gear, but knowing others will be sharing the experience with you might just be enough to get you out your front door.
Another benefit of joining a running club is the variation there’s likely to be in the type of running you do. Not all clubs necessarily have professional coaches who organise the sessions, but if not, the runs will usually be set by long-term members of the club or agreed by group consensus. That typically results in a more varied training regime than if you were running alone. Mixing up shorter and longer distances, trail runs and speed work will help you progress more quickly.
Perhaps one of the most important shifts to come from joining a beginners’ running club is the ability to call yourself a runner and keep a straight face. You’re no longer someone who ambles around the block every other Tuesday. As a member of a running club, you quickly gain confidence and benefit from the wisdom and support of the more experienced runners around you. They will be able to share running tips, point you in the direction of good quality kit and show you some of the best running routes in your area.
The great thing about running is having the freedom to do it whenever you like. As part of a running club, you might think having to turn up at a specified time and place inhibits that freedom. However, unlike team sports, as a member of a running club, you’re not compelled to turn up for every session. Whether it’s three times a week or twice a month, you have the flexibility to run as and when you like.
Become a part of our running club
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